Basic In 10 Lines Or Less

For the last 11 years [Gunnar Kanold] has run the annual BASIC 10 Liner contest, and the rules for the 2021 edition are now available. There are four categories and each category has specific definitions of what constitutes a line. All entries must run on an 8-bit computer system that can be emulated.

The first three categories are for games but differ in the line length allowed. You can elect to compete with 80 character lines, 120 character lines, or 256 character lines. There’s also a category for demos, tools, and other applications that must constrain lines to 256 characters.

There are some common-sense rules, of course. You can’t load other programs or data from mass storage. You can’t use machine language or self-modifying code.

If you want to participate, you’ll need to submit your entry by March 27th and the results will be revealed on April 10th. If you need inspiration, look at some of the entries from last year, including Bomb Catcher, Ainvader, and Asteroid.

This is a good excuse to dust off your last retrocomputer project or replica. Seems like you’d want a BASIC that at least let you put multiple statements on a line, though, so probably don’t want to go back too far. Of course, you can always work on your favorite emulator, if you don’t have any hardware.

If you don’t want your own emulator, you could Tweet to an Atari. Or, just fire up your browser.

17 thoughts on “Basic In 10 Lines Or Less

      1. On C64, 80 characters is the limit. A person however can abuse C64’s basic token system to squeeze more than 80 in a single line. Example, using ? instead of print saves 4 characters. There is a drawback, if you need to edit the line and it’s already expanded past the 80 character limit, extra characters will be cut off unless you go back and replace all basic words with tokens.

    1. I remember you can about fill a screen in one line on the old speccy, what was it’s character limit though? I think I recall it buzzing if you had a lot of characters on a line.

  1. I’m a little disappointed that there wasn’t a link (or links) to some of the things people have done in the past for this comp, for example, the link to ‘one line tetris’ provided by Alphatek.
    I would have liked to see more.

  2. They really do have to specify a line length as the ZX Spectrum can handle a line as big as the whole screen (768 characters)! Jolly slow to edit anything that long though and it can’t have any IF statements in it (though I think you could use FOR a=[InvertedCondition] TO 0: Statements : NEXT a , or something like that.

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